By Neil T.
Do you prefer to run alone? Do you get your miles in early in the morning or late at night when it's still dark? I love the solitude of getting out there before the sun comes up and clearing my head while working up a sweat. While that can be peaceful, it can also lead to some safety concerns.
There are a few things that I do to alleviate those concerns. Since I do most of my runs on the city streets, the most important thing for me is to be visible. I wear as much reflective gear as I can. The reflective stripes on running apparel will keep me from blending in with the night every time car headlights have me in their sights.
If all of my reflective gear is in the hamper, I have a Nathan StrobeLight that clips onto my waistband. I can either set it as a steady light or use the strobe effect. It's a go-to item that I keep on my backpack in case I need something in a moments notice.
There are two relatively new products that are also incredibly useful. The first one is the Wearsafe Tag. About the size a key fob, it clips to your waistband or fits easily in your pocket. With Bluetooth capability the Tag syncs right up to your phone once you download the Wearsafe app. It works by simply pressing the button on the Tag, which causes it to silently vibrate. This then sends out an alert to anyone you entered into your network. From there, your friends/family can coordinate any help you may need through the app. If you tend to run by yourself, this item may not only be useful, but also essential!
The second product I find to be helpful are the Aftershokz Trekz headphones. Also Bluretooth/wireless, these innovative headphones work through "bone conduction." With its OpenFit design, the speakers rest against your ear canal with the sound being delivered through your cheekbones. The reason for this is to be able to clearly hear all of your surroundings while still getting incredibly clean sound through the speakers. With 6 hours of in-use battery life and a USB port for charging, these headphones can be used for so many activities!
While there are many ways to stay as safe as possible out there as a runner, these products help me venture out into the dark of night and put me more at ease. Then I can truly clear my mind during my run!